The previous obstacles to payments between different mobile money service subscribers will soon be a memory. Financial inclusion is expected to increase in Rwanda by the end of 2021.
In virtual plenary session, the Chamber of Deputies of the National Assembly of Rwanda adopted on Monday 1 st March, the resolution of interoperability with financial services, including mobile. It has also instructed the Rwanda Public Services Authority (RURA) and the Central Bank of Rwanda to ensure the effective implementation of this service which will allow subscribers of different mobile financial service providers – MTN or Airtel / Tigo – to interact with each other through direct payments, the purchase of telecom services, etc.
“ Currently, if you are an MTN Mobile Money subscriber, you are unable to pay an Airtel Money subscriber. When you have a digital payment channel in a given bank, you can only use it for transactions in that bank […] But, after linking these channels, you can have a product in a bank and the use for payment via MTN, or Airtel network, Equity, BK, among others, ”said Theogene Munyangeyo, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Economy and Trade.
The interoperability of financial services in Rwanda has been in the making since 2014. But it was in 2019 that the government entrusted its implementation to RSwitch, a Rwandan company specializing in the provision of payment solutions. On July 26, 2019, during FinTech Friday, its CEO Jean Claude Gaga affirmed that the service would be operational at the end of the year. It was not the case. On November 19, 2020, during the presentation of the 2019/2020 annual report of the Central Bank of Rwanda to Parliament, Governor John Rwangombwa announced that the system would be operational in June 2021.
According to the Governor of the Central Bank of Rwanda, the interoperability of financial services will greatly facilitate financial transactions on mobile while reducing costs. It will contribute to greater financial inclusion of the Rwandan populations.